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EMDR: The Breakthrough "Eye Movement" Therapy for Overcoming Anxiety, Stress, and Trauma Paperback – April 11, 1998

4.4 out of 5 stars 71 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

EMDR, or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, is a new, nontraditional, very short-term therapy for treating trauma victims that utilizes rhythmical stimulation such as eye movements or hand taps. Shapiro, a clinical psychologist and fellow at the Mental Research Institute in Palo Alto, Calif., who developed the approach, reports cases in which as few as three 90-minute EMDR sessions have relieved patients' disabling anxiety. Explaining how she developed the technique in 1987, Shapiro describes the treatment, theorizes about why it works and cites supporting research. She suggests that the rhythmical stimulation inherent in the process jump starts and accelerates the brain's information processing system to enable the victims to begin to process the traumatic experiences in which they have been stuck so that natural healing can begin. Writer Forrest presents gripping case studies from numerous EMDR-trained therapists to demonstrate the effectiveness of the technique?among others, a Vietnam veteran with post-traumatic stress, a child with night terrors, a rape victim and a mother still nearly paralyzed with grief a year after her son's death. Other studies report success helping drug addicts and the terminally ill.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a controversial method of psychotherapy used for treating posttraumatic stress syndrome and anxiety disorders. These two books provide an overview of EMDR for the general reader. Supporters claim that EMDR releases traumatic memories locked in the brain, accelerates recovery, and reduces stress; opponents point out that a neurological basis for this theory has yet to be established. These two new books on EMRR chiefly contain case histories and descriptions of the therapy; both warn against unauthorized use by therapists not trained by the EMDR Institute. Parnell, a clinical psychologist and senior EMDR Institute facilitator, claims a transcendent focus for EMDR, leading to "objective forgiveness" of oneself and the perpetrator of the trauma. Shapiro, who developed EMDR in 1989, documents research supporting EMDR, citing both controlled and uncontrolled studies and listing 12 populations where EMDR has been effectively used as a form of treatment. Both books are recommended for popular psychology collections, though Shapiro's book is the preferred choice for readers who may wish to follow up on EMDR research.?Lucille M. Boone, San Jose P.L. Cal.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; Updated edition (April 11, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465043011
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465043019
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,992 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on April 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book gives a description of the evolution of EMDR, the eight phases of treatment, theories regarding possible underlying mechanisms, and controlled research. Most importantly, the book give extensive case descriptions with verbatim transcripts of EMDR sessions so that readers can see it in action. Chapters are devoted to the treatment of anxiety, trauma, phobias, depression, physical complaints, and a wide variety of fears and clinical conditions in children and adults. Through the detailed discussions and transcripts readers can see for themselves whether EMDR might be applicable to themselves or a loved one.
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Format: Paperback
As a Vietnam Veteran who fought for 28 years to deny any Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) lingering from my year there, EMDR has allowed me to finally come home! Whether it is war, crime, abuse, neglect, whatever; this book helps you recognize yourself and inspires great hope for overcoming your taumas. EMDR is not hypnosis nor the power of suggestion. It is truly a breakthrough, allowing the physical brain to unload the emotional terrors locked inside in an amazing way. EMDR will bring you home! Don't live another day carrying around whatever is locked inside of your brain. I commend this especially to my brothers and sisters who have spent half of their lives trying to un-live Vietnam. Peace be with you.
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By A Customer on April 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book documents the healing journeys of numerous trauma survivors. Written for the general public, it provides an intimate view into the healing processes of persons treated with EMDR. Individual stories are written in narrative form, describing the experiences and symptoms of each person before, during, and after EMDR treatment. Therapy descriptions include transcripts of actual treatment sessions. Each chapter highlights recovery from a different type of disorder: combat related trauma, incest and child abuse, rape, phobias and panic attacks, sleep disorders and childhood trauma, attachment disorders, traumatic grief, addiction, and diagnosis of life-threatening illness. This book is very helpful for persons considering EMDR treatment as it explains the therapy process from the client's perspective.
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Format: Paperback
Please note that this appears to generally be a review of some case histories in which EMDR was helpful. I was hoping to learn some techniques for practical application. It stresses in the disclaimer in the book that it is not a manual and no one should try to apply the techniques without first completing the training package, available at significant expense at the institute. In fact, it stated that attempting to apply them without first going through the training may be dangerous or harmful. If you are looking for only background information on the intervention or are already trained this may be an appropriate resource.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book after my therapist recommended EMDR - I wanted to know what it was. The book was fascinating.....almost too good to be true. But after my first EMDR session last week, I am a believer. I have suffered from severe anxiety and depression for over 30 years and nothing has helped me. When I left the session last week I felt an unusual sense of lightness and have felt happy and much freer. I cut down on the medication I was taking. I am looking forward to more sessions to deal with other problems. I wish I could shout from the rooftops for anyone with psychological problems to try this therapy with someone who is well qualified.
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Format: Paperback
"EMDR: The Breakthrough Therapy for Overcoming Anxiety, Stress and Trauma" describes a method for finally releasing the demons of our past. The book points out that it isn't necessarily the magnitude of the event that is important but our response to it. Most of us are familiar with the impact of post traumatic stress on war veterans but over time we tend to discount the long term effects of losing a loved one, not holding an infant or the chronic teasing from a sibling. Francine Shapiro shows us how EMDR can help free us from the BIG traumas as well as the "little" traumas of life. Fortunately, we don't have to understand how it can change us emotionally or physically. All we have to do is try it ourselves for 3 sessions and see what happens. After reading the book I understood how anxiety, stress and trauma changes our thinking and how EMDR can transform the negative into positive for any number of situations.
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I read the criticisms from other readers and felt that they didn't understand the intention of the book. They wanted an explanation of how to do EMDR, and this is a casebook of examples not a text. If you want to understand how to do EMDR, you have to read the textbook by Dr. Shapiro that explains the procedures and protocols. If you want to actually do EMDR, you have to take the class. I did last year, and because I haven't practiced I am taking it again. It's not something you want to try on your own.

So, if you want examples of cases, read this book. If you want to know the protocols, get the textbook. They are both good. Some of the cases are somewhat graphic in detail, but you get a better idea of "how" EMDR is used. It is a good companion to the text.

I'm not sure I'd want a client to read this book, unless I'd carefully thought about how it would impact them. These are not your run of the mill cases. The majority of cases have suffered extremely horrific traumas to better illustrate how well EMDR can work.
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